Eighty-two-year-old Eustace Waterman made the wrong move when he blocked the access point to his neighbours’ Gemswick, St Philip house.
Attorney-at-law Ernest Jackman told Barbados TODAY that according to the law, siblings Audrey Darlington, 68, and Kenneth Darlington, 72, have the right to access the road their family has been using for almost 100 years.
Jackman explained that the siblings were entitled to rights of passage.
On Monday, Barbados TODAY highlighted the story where Waterman who is a Justice of the Peace, ordered that boulders be placed on the road, which the siblings claim is the only access to their home.
This morning, Darlington who lamented that the development meant that private or emergency vehicles could not drive on the road to get to her home, filed a complaint at the Town and Country Department, Warrens, St Michael.
Officials at Town and Country Planning promised her that they would investigate the matter, which had been reported to the police.
However, according to Jackman, the elderly woman should have headed to the High Court.
“Almost 100 years is definitely more than enough by far in a situation where people are claiming a right to use the land. So they can go to court and ask the court to grant them an injunction to make the guy not only remove the boulders, but to restrain him from putting any more boulders, or in any way blocking that easement that they have acquired by use, in the future,” Jackman said.
“Town and Country Planning can’t do anything for them. Town and Country Planning do not declare rights of easement or any rights to land. All that Town and Country Planning will do is to tell you how you can use your land because [they] are the authority in Barbados that determines and regulates how land is to be used.
“When it comes to whether or not you have a right over land, the only person that you can turn to in the event of a dispute is the court. And the only courts that have jurisdiction to resolve disputes over land is the High Court,” he added.
The attorney further explained that if residents in an area have been using a particular area of land for a minimum of 20 years, they would have acquired a right of passage over the spot.
“And the law would provide them with that because if you have land and I start to cross it, I have to stop you from crossing it. And the law states that if you know I am crossing it and you don’t stop me from crossing it, after a period of time I would acquire the right to use it.
“I would have taken away from you your rights over it and acquired the right to travel cross it. In other words, I would acquire an easement over the parcel of land. You are required to defend your property where someone has taken steps to use it without your permission,” Jackman said.
Meanwhile, after filing her complaint and speaking to officials at the Town and Country Planning Department, Darlington told Barbados TODAY that she was ready to do whatever was legally possible to have the boulders removed.
Audrey pointed out that if the matter was to taken to court, she was prepared to present her site plan which shows that the parcel of land was always used as a road.
“This site plan shows the road leading to my house. So where he blocked is actually an access road, I going all out because there is no way I can get in or out.
“I endeavour to go all out, even if it cost me what little I got. Even before I born that was the road to use. These are days nobody ain’t fighting for land so. Life is definitely too short. How much land he want?,” Darlington said.
On Monday, Waterman told Barbados TODAY that he blocked the access point because the land belonged to him. He argued that the Darlingtons had enough unoccupied space on their land to make a road and get access to their house. He said he decided to block the passageway at this time, because he was in the process of making sure his business was “straight” for his children.